Don’t mess with my Newsweek!!!

I started to write a post about something I read in a magazine, when it struck me how few people are reading magazines laid out on their desk at lunch. There are still some of though who, as Newsweek editor Jon Meacham put it last night on the Daily Show, can hold a magazine without dropping it in their tapioca. I am a loyal and devoted Newsweek reader. I started subscribing in high school and haven’t quit – that’s over two decades.

During that time I have seen the magazine go through various overhauls, but the recent redo under Meacham’s reign has improved the magazine vastly. The focus has rightly shifted from trying to cover all the things that are being covered continually in the 24 hour news cycle to trying to shed perspective in longer, more in-depth coverage. I say, thank you!

So, I was obviously concerned with the announcement yesterday that Newsweek is for sale. Please!! Don’t mess up my Newsweek! I do believe that there is still a place for pint journalism – even if it is distributed on Kindles and iPads or phones. More than that, I think we all head a little bit closer to the cliff each time a serious journalistic source is eliminated. I am willing to pay for news, real news. I want journalist in the field. I want research. I want investigation. I will subscribe; I do. Come on, I know there are other people out there that read magazines besides me and my crazy friend who reads every magazine, but refused to use email. Which brings up the crux of the matter. My friend who doesn’t email, doesn’t even touch a computer is a very intelligent, well informed human. Yet, he will call me and say “did you hear…” about three days after I read it on Huffington Post. But, I’ve “heard about it”. I don’t usually “know” about it until I get my Newsweek or other news magazine. It is so easy to hear about things, honestly, you can’t help but do so. But to know requires time. To know requires sitting down (or propping the magazine across the screen of the treadmill) and reading. It requires thought and active participation.

My god, can you imagine a world without print journalism – regardless again of the medium in which it is delivered?

You can. Think Roger Ailes. Is this what we want? Entertainment based on current events and profit margins? That is not news. Without a reliable news source you do not have an informed electorate. Without an informed electorate there is no democracy.

We have got to solve this crisis in journalism. Jon Meacham may be heading in the right direction. PBS. (The only thing that mitigated my sorrow of my hero, Bill Moyers, retiring was the news that Jon Meacham would be co-hosting a new public affairs program in his stead.) We have Public Broadcasting and we have Public Radio. Why not Public Print? I’m willing to invest in that. Otherwise (shudder) we end up with cable news.


1 Response to “Don’t mess with my Newsweek!!!”

  1. 1 Grace
    June 2, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    I LOVE Newsweek and Jon Meacham! I agree that the redesign was right on target, and I, too, “hear” news and then “know” the news after I’ve read my magazine. I was absolutely heartbroken as I watched the Daily Show interview. But I am hopeful it will all turn out ok.


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